November 2023

Page A6 november 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Section A The Hallmark of Life & Death $97.95plus tax 919-638-9177 “In His Care” US Patent No: USD714.0145 China Patent No: Z102012300305438.2 European Com. No: 00208.59 “FAMILY SHIELD delivers exceptional care to the families we serve. Their payment plans give the family the time they need when they need it most.” Jimmy Altmeyer President, Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory FAMILYSHIELDCREDIT.COM BROOKFIELD,WI— Happiness psychologist and mental wellbeing expert Katarina Blom is joining forces with the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) to bring the transformative Swedish practice of death cleaning to more Americans. As part of the association’s new Preserving Your Legacy, One Piece at a Time campaign, Blom, co-host of Peacock’s hit show “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” is sharing guidance on how to help a loved one evaluate their personal possessions to decide what to keep, sell or give away – all while processing the memories behind meaningful items to help their legacy live on for generations. “For many, especially older individuals, it’s challenging to clean and declutter their own space because they’ve formed emotional attachments to physical items,” said Blom. “Death cleaning provides an opportunity to spend time with your aging loved ones to better understand the meaning and memories that make a personal possession important. Together, you can preserve their legacy while they are alive so you can keep them close when they are gone.” Together with NFDA’s consumer resource Remembering A Life, Blom is encouraging families to schedule time this October – Family History Month – to “memorialize in place” with their aging loved ones by decluttering and organizing possessions to simplify their current environment or formally prepare for the end of life. Blom offers up expert-approved ways to help an aging loved one organize personal items throughout their home to not only declutter, but also capture the stories behind their most treasured possessions, including: Where Do We Begin? Collect ten items in a box that carry emotional value to them. Once that is done you can sit down, have a traditional Swedish Fika break with coffee and a cinnamon bun and start going through those ten items. The Family Legacy: What was it that parents or grandparents wanted to give to the next generation through these items – a sense of security, beauty or craftsmanship? Now that it is your loved one’s turn to pass them on, what are the hopes that these heirlooms will give to the next generation? Walk around and write notes on the history of each item, what it stands for and why it is being given to the next generation. Attach each note to each heirloom. The Dilemma Box: Take a box, write “Dilemma Box” on National Funeral Directors Association and Happiness Psychologist Katarina Blom Encourage Families to Preserve Their Legacy in a New Way Katrina Blom it, and put in the items that you are unsure about, as well as a date – preferably one month ahead of today. Wait for the month to pass and check in with yourself: can you remember what you put in the box? If not, it is probably okay to get rid of it. “I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impact that sorting belongings and letting go of things that no longer serve a purpose has on families – it helps them understand what was truly valuable to them and in turn they feel more alive and more connected to family and friends,” added Blom. “Understanding the significance of our loved one’s possessions and incorporating them into their funeral or memorial service makes the service more meaningful. And, when the service is over, those objects can provide comfort and healing through times of grief and help create a legacy of their own.” As the trusted leader and worldwide resource for the funeral service profession, NFDA lists Remembering A Life among their top resources providing helpful information about planning a meaningful service, as well as resources to help people understand their own and others’ grief and loss. Blom encourages consumers to connect with a local NFDA-member funeral director in their community using the Remembering A Life Find A Funeral Home search tool. Families and individuals can also learn more about end-oflife planning and honoring a loved one in meaningful ways by visiting and following @rememberingalife on Instagram. Katarina Blom has been a psychologist for more than 10 years, focusing on the psychology of happiness and relationships. This year she is the host of Peacock’s new hit-show “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” where she facilitates conversations on topics such as death, grief, love and letting go between family members and friends who are facing death in different ways. Remembering A Life is a consumer education initiative of the National Funeral Directors Association. By Welton Hong I’m used to digging into granular areas when talking about digital marketing for funeral homes, which I hope is understandable—that’s what I do all day, every day! But I recognize that it’s also beneficial to take a biggerpicture approach every once in a while. Let’s take a few minutes this month to keep in mind some of the most important considerations when marketing your deathcare firm. In an increasingly digital age, where people turn to search engines, social media, and online reviews before making decisions, funeral homes are no exception to the need for a robust digital presence. Traditional modes of advertisement and word of mouth are being supplemented by online channels, providing a more immediate and personalized connection with potential clients. During times of grief, families want accessible, transparent, and compassionate service providers. A strong digital marketing strategy not only helps funeral homes reach a larger audience but also lets them provide valuable information and support during a difficult time. 1. Optimize Your Website for Mobile and SEO Given the rise in mobile device usage, ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly is imperative. It should load quickly, have a responsive design, and provide all essential information at the user’s fingertips. Along with mobile optimization, you should invest in search engine optimization (SEO). By utilizing relevant keywords and producing high-quality content, funeral homes can increase their visibility on search engines, making it easier for potential clients to find them during crucial times. As usual, Google is your main target here. It retains the most market share in the United States by an enormous margin, so start there. 2. Leverage Your Google Business Profile and Reviews Google Business Profile (GBP) lets businesses list their services on Google Maps and search results. Ensure that your funeral home’s GBP profile is complete with accurate contact information, operating hours, and high-quality photos. Additionally, you must encourage satisfied families to leave positive reviews on Google. This not only boosts local SEO but also builds trust with potential clientele. 3. Engage on Social Media While it may seem unconventional, many funeral homes have found value in maintaining an active presence on platforms like Facebook. Sharing informative content, memorial services, and community involvement can humanize your brand. Moreover, social media provides a platform for families to share memories and testimonials, and to engage in a more personalized manner. Take advantage of this opportunity to brand your firm as the elite, “go-to” funeral home in your area. It really makes a huge difference, especially when your competitors are lagging behind on social. 4. Invest in Paid Online Advertising and Remarketing Consider investing in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on platforms such as Google Ads. This lets funeral homes to target specific demographics or keywords, ensuring that Five Funeral Marketing Basics to Remember Powerhouse Marketing with Welton their services appear in relevant searches. Remarketing campaigns can also remind those who’ve visited your site to take action, providing a more tailored ad experience. Remarketing provides potential clientele a “second chance” to choose you after their initial research. 5. Offer Virtual Tours and Online Arrangement Tools Given the current global landscape and the evolving nature of service demands, offering virtual tours of your facilities or online preplanning tools can differentiate your funeral home from competitors. It provides an added layer of convenience and safety for families who may prefer or need to make arrangements remotely. By adopting these digital marketing strategies, funeral homes can foster connections, build trust, and cater to the evolving needs of their community in the digital age. Welton Hong is the founder of Ring Ring Marketing® and a leading expert in creating case generation from online to the phone line. He is the author of Making Your Phone Ring with Internet Marketing for Funeral Homes. For more information, visit FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Monthly Columnsonline at SEND US YOUR NEWS! PO Box 5159 Youngstown, Oh 44514 1-800-321-7479